What Are the Slovak Howitzers Denmark, Germany, and Norway Will Send to Ukraine?: Three European countries have pledged their commitment to delivering 16 Slovak Zuzana-2 howitzers to Ukraine in the near future, at a time when Russian soldiers are preparing fresh offensives in the recently “annexed” regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
On Sunday, Germany, Norway, and Denmark confirmed the pledge to purchase the howitzers, which are designed to fire missiles at a distance of 40km.
A report from Deutsche Welle quoted German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht who confirmed the news over the weekend.
“This demonstrates how important it is to work out again and again and subsequently implement such opportunities together with partners,” Lambrecht said.
The comments followed an unannounced visit from the German minister to the Ukrainian port city of Odesa, where she met with Oleksiy Reznikov, Ukraine’s minister of defense. Lambrecht assessed the situation at the ports, where millions of tons of Ukrainian grain are finally leaving on ships after being blocked for six months, and also inspected a Gepard anti-aircraft tank that was gifted by Germany.
Lambrecht said that the weaponry is helping Ukraine protect its critical infrastructure and used the visit to pledge four additional Iris-T SLM ground-based air-defense systems that are expected to arrive in the coming days.
What is the Zuzana-2?
The Zuzana-2 is a Slovakian howitzer considered to be one of the most advanced artillery weapons in the world. Designed and manufactured by Konstrukta Defence, the Zuzana-2 is an improved version of the original Zuzana howitzer.
Fitted with a 52-caliber gun, the artillery system can fire missiles at a distance of 40km. Each system can carry 40 shells in total and is compatible with three kinds of ammunition, including high-explosive anti-tank shells, standard high-explosive shells, and extended-range high-explosive shells.
The Zuzana-2 can also launch six shells in one minute, and a total of 16 shells in just three minutes.
When Will They Arrive?
While the air defense systems will no doubt prove hugely beneficial for Ukraine at a time when Russia is struggling to manufacture new advanced weapons, the German defense minister did confirm that the weapons won’t be arriving in the coming weeks, but sometime next year.
Lambrecht nonetheless praised Ukraine’s recent successes against the Russians, recognizing the significance of the liberation of the Donetsk city of Lyman, where Russian forces were forced to flee over the weekend.
“It’s a great success, but it’s not a turning point,” Lambrecht told German public-service broadcaster ARD.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.